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Arche Seleukeia








Koinon Hellenon

History Units

The former Greek faction is now made up of Athens, Sparta, and Rhodes. This selection has been chosen to represent the alliance formed by several poleis of Hellas prior to the outbreak of the Chremonidean War (c.266-260). The war is named after Chremonides, the Athenian statesman who formed the alliance in an effort to counter the threat of Makedonian hegemony.

The alliance of these three city states brings together political entities that were not entirely cooperative (to put it mildly) during this time period, but they were not openly hostile to each other and they did agree very shortly after the opening of the game to ally themselves alongside the Ptolemaioi to fight the Makedonians. Even before the alliance was made these three groups had mutual enemies and mutual allies to a large degree. The Ptolemaioi were supplying a large proportion of the grain supplement of Athenai in 272, and were trying to thwart Makedonian growth and power whereever they could. The new alliance played up exactly what one would expect of a grouping of Athenai, Sparte, and Rhodos at this time: there was much talk of freedom of the Hellenes and a new crusade against the 'barbarian' Makedonians. The term 'Alliance of the Hellenes' or 'Koinon Hellenon' will represent this alliance better in the long run than a temporary 'Chremodian Alliance' would. This alliance however, while including certain other cities outside of those controlling these three regions, cannot include such regions as Krete, as certain cities were allied with Sparta and certain with the Ptolemaioi, and certain would best be considered havens for pirates who had the full blessing and aid of Antigonos Gonatas to raid Athenai and the islands of the Aigaion. The only certain diplomatic relations are an alliance with the Ptolemaioi and war with the Makedonians. They had close relations with many cities en route to the Euxine and still gained greatly from their contacts there and from the grain trade.


Historically did this new alliance bear fruit? The Makedonians did not have to fear Pyrrhos or the Epeirotes greatly after they recovered from their perilous situation in 272. They were able then to direct their efforts towards maintaining control of the areas they already had somewhat subdued. Once the Spartan king Areus had returned to Sparte from Krete, he engaged the Makedonians in small attacks, but not in any large scale invasion. Ptolemaic aid was sent to both Sparte and Athenai once the alliance was ratified, but gave no immediate boost to the cause. The fleet under Patroklos (Makedonian-born himself) arrived in Attike to aid their cause against Antigonos, but the Makedonians had already closed off the Peiraieus (the Athenain port) and Patroklos was forced to put his fleet into smaller harbors along Attike (even today the main island he encamped upon, near Sounion, is called Patroklu by the Hellenes). Remains of Ptolemaic camps have been found also at Rhamnous, and we can tell that the Athenians even used the Ptolemaic system of weights and measures for at least three years during the war itself. Pirates under the pay of Antigonos still raided grain shipments and the Ptolemaic fleet was unable to deflect their attacks and deal with the Makedonians at the same time. The possession of Korinthos by Antigonos Gonatas remained one of the most important determinants of the outcome of the war. The Spartans, with their Peloponnesian and Cretan allies, were never able to break through the isthmus near Korinthos. He was unable to institute major reforms of the social, economic, and military affairs of the state and it affected the outcome of the war in general by the still dwindling numbers of Spartan citizens along with mounting social tension in the region. In 265 the Spartan king Areus met the Makedonians outside of Korinthos and was slain there. The Spartans, now led by Areus’ son, Akrotatos, made no further attempt to help the Athenians or their new alliance from that point onwards. While Ptolemaios gained some successes against the Makedonians, capturing a number of coastal cities in Asia Minor and throughout the Aigaion, he was reluctant to commit his forces to any large land battles. The Ptolemaic fleet was not able to break through the Makedonian blockade of Athenai and the city, starving, was forced to submit in 262. Antigonos was firmly in control. Chremonides and his brother Glaukon fled to Aigyptos and became advisors to Ptolemaios Philadelphos. Chremonides even attained the rank of a commander of the Ptolemaic fleet. Glaukon became an important priest of Alexandros there. Rhodos itself saw an increase in trade and commerce, but only because of the great decline in Athenai during this subsequent period and as a result of the outcome of the Chremonidian War. The rest of the interaction belongs to a history of the Ptolemaic and Makedonian wars, as the Hellenes were from that point onwards only pawns in their larger conflict.

Cherominedes' Decree

Gods. In the archonship of Peithedemos, in the second prytany, that of (the tribe) Erechtheis, on the ninth (day) of Metageitnion, the ninth (day) of the prytany, (in) a statutory assembly. Of the prohedroi Sostratos, son of Kallistratos, of (the deme) Erchia, and his fellow prohedroi put the motion to the vote. Resolved by the demos: Chremonides, son of Eteokles, of (the deme) Aithalidai, spoke: Whereas in former times the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians and the allies of each, after making friendship and common alliance with one another, together fought many noble struggles alongside one another against those who were trying to enslave the cities, from which deeds they both won for themselves fair reputation and brought about freedom for the rest of the Greeks, and (whereas) now, when similar circumstances have overtaken all Greece on account of those who are trying to overthrow the laws and the ancestral institutions of each (of the cities), King Ptolemy, in accordance with the policy of his ancestors and his sister, shows clearly his concern for the common freedom of the Greeks, and the demos of the Athenians, having made an alliance with him, has voted to urge the rest of the Greeks toward the same policy; and, likewise, the Lacedaemonians, being friends and allies of King Ptolemy, have voted an alliance with the demos of the Athenians, along with the Eleians and Achaeans and Tegeans and Mantineians and Orchomenians and Phialians and Kaphyans and as many of the Cretans as are in the alliance of the Lacedaemonians and Areus and the other allies, and have sent ambassadors from the synhedroi to the demos (of the Athenians), and their ambassadors having arrived, make clear the zealous concern which the Lacedaemonians and Areus and the rest of the allies have toward the demos of the Athenians, and bring with them the agreement about the alliance; (and) in order that, a state of common concord having come to exist among the Greeks, the Greeks may be, along with King Ptolemy and with each other, eager contenders against those who have wronged the cities and violated their treaties with them, and may for the future with mutual good-will save the cities; with good fortune, be it resolved by the demos: that the friendship and alliance of the Athenians with the Lacedaemonians and the Kings of the Lacedaemonians, and the Eleians and Achaeans and Tegeans and Mantineians and Orchomenians and Phialians and Kaphyans and as many of the Cretans as are in the alliance of the Lacedaemonians and Areus and the rest of the allies, be valid for all {time, the one which} the ambassadors bring with them; and that {the} secretary of the prytany have (it) inscribed on a bronze stele and {set up} on the Acropolis, by the temple of Athena Polias; and that {the} magistrates {swear} to the ambassadors who have come {from them the oath} about the alliance, according to {ancestral custom}; and to send {the} ambassadors {who have been} elected by the demos to receive the oaths {from} the {rest of the Greeks}; and further, that {the demos immediately} elect {two} synhedroi {from among} all {the Athenians} who shall deliberate {about the common} good with Areus and the synhedroi {sent by the allies}; and that {those in charge} of public administration distribute to those chosen (as synhedroi) provisions for as long as they shall be away {whatever} the demos shall decide {when electing them}; and to Praise {the ephors} of the Lacedaemonians and Areus and the allies, {and to crown them} with a gold crown in accordance with the law; {and further, to praise the} ambassadors who have come from them, Theom {. . . of Lacedae}mon and Argeios son of Kleinias of Elis, {and to crown} each of them with a gold crown, in accordance with {the law, on account of their zealous concern} and the good-will which they bear toward {the rest of the allies} and the demos of the Athenians; and that {each of them} be entitled to receive {other} benefits from the boule {and the demos, if they seem} to deserve {any}; and to invite them {also to receive hospitality} tomorrow {in the prytaneion}, and that the secretary of the prytany have inscribed {this decree also and the agreement} upon a {stone} stele and have it set up on the Acropolis, and that those in charge of {public administration} allocate {the expense for the inscription and erection} of the stele, {whatever it} may be. The following were elected synhedroi: Kallippos of (the deme) Eleusis, {and- - - }.

The treaty and alliance {of the Lacedaemonians and the allies} of the Lacedaemonians with {the Athenians and the allies} of the Athenians, {to be valid} for all {time}: {Each (of the parties)}, being {free} and autonomous, {is to have its own territory, using its own political institutions in accordance with} ancestral tradition. If anyone {comes with war as their object against the land} of the Athenians or {is overthrowing} the laws, {or comes with war as their object against} the allies of the Athenians, {the Lacedaemonians and the allies} of the Lacedaemonians {shall come to the rescue in full strength to the best of their ability. If} anyone comes with war as their object {against the land of the Lacedaemonians}, or is overthrowing {the} laws, {or comes with war as their object against the allies} of the Lacedaemonians, {the Athenians and the allies of the Athenians shall come to the rescue in full strength to the best of their ability.} - - - The (following) Athenians swear the oath to the Lacedaemonians {and to those from each} city: the strategoi and the {boule of 600 and the} archons and the phylarchs and the taxiarchs {and the hipparchs}. “I swear by Zeus, Ge, Helios, Ares, Athena Areia, {Poseidon, Demeter} that I shall remain in the alliance that has been made; {to those abiding by this oath} may many good things befall, to those not, the opposite.” (Of the Lacedaemonians} (the following) swear the same oath to the Athenians: the {kings and the ephors (and)} the gerontes. And the magistrates {are to swear the same oath also in the other} cities. If {it seems preferable to the Lacedaemonians and) the allies and the Athenians (to add something) or to remove something in respect to (the terms of) the alliance, {then whatever is decided upon by both} will be in accord with the oath. (The cities are) to have {the agreement} inscribed {upon) stelai and have (them) set up in a sanctuary wherever they wish.